Posted by VACCHO Policy Unit on 16 July 2020
Tags: Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, VACCHO, BLM, Black Lives Matter, towers, Jill Gallagher, COVID-19, coronavirus, Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS, Victorian Government, Aboriginal health
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) has welcomed a much-needed clarification from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) ruling out a link between last month’s Black Lives Matter rally to Melbourne’s COVID-19 public housing tower cluster.
DHHS says it is aware of six confirmed cases who attended the Black Lives Matter protest on June 6 but says currently there is no evidence to suggest these cases acquired the virus from the rally.
None of these cases are known to reside at a major public housing complex.
Currently, no known nor suspected episodes of transmission occurred at the protest itself, the Department says.
VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO welcomed the DHHS clarification.
“We hope that this clarification provides a level of comfort for all those involved, particularly those still on the ground responding to the towers and those affected who still remain in lockdown and quarantine,” Ms Gallagher said.
“I personally hope these unfounded articles cease so we can get on with the job.
“We remain deeply committed to working with government and our Aboriginal Organisations to keep our families and communities safe as that’s our focus.
“Like the general population, we are seeing a large spike in COVID-19 cases in Victorian Aboriginal communities and we mustn’t lose sight of what is at stake.”
VACCHO is the leading advocate for the health of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria and a peak organisation to its membership of 32 ACCOs. VACCHO also works closely with partner organisations, Government, non-Government community sector organisations across Victoria and nationally.
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